Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Musings

I'm at home today, since I have no classes until late morning tomorrow.
I took the car in for its 60,000 mile check-up. The mile walk home was VERY chilly.

I finishd the editing on a 5-page outline for a group project. Two of us are rather particular about our work and two are not. Would it be snarky of me to say that in a couple of years the two young men will have found calls to churches before they even graduate and the two middle-aged women may stil be looking? And that that division reflects the division of labor on our project?

To be fair, the young guys DO NOT HAVE ANY IDEA what they are overlooking. I suppose I was very much the same as a young lawyer, and I must have driven my older colleagues equally crazy.

I am going to take another stab at my paper on virtual life and bodily life. It's supposed to be 750 words and when I got it down to 800 on the sixth try I decided I could not allocate any more time to it. But now it's kind of a game, and also a way of procrastinating Hebrew. I was going to write something very personal about blogging, but I ended up with something far more academic and only the vaguest reference to my online life. A lot of what I do in seminary is connected to my personal and family tragedy, but it's not necessary that everything be.

I AM going to do some Hebrew eventually. And clean the kitchen and vacuum the first floor. I would clean my car but -- it's not here, too bad.

On the subject of blogging, I'm also watching the poll over at Desert Year. I am fascinated by the fact that at the moment, two-thirds of the respondents describe God has having been far way or absent at the time of their deepest loss. Obviously this is a completely inaccurate poll of only 36 people so far. But the question I have at the moment: does that percentage reflect something vaguely accurate about the experience of loss, or does it merely reflect that people are less likely to respond to a question when their experience has been positive and more likely when they have something negative to say?

And finally, since my paper argues that virtual communication can be as intimate, as superficial, or as a confusing combination of both as real life, let me close with a response to someone with whom I have a solely (so far) online frienship, one which I value tremendously. Quotidian Grace has written another protest against twittering in worship. From my now-academic paper, at least as it reads at the moment:

"The downside of technological communication emerges when we permit it to disrupt existing real-life relationships. It tempts us to forget that which embodied community reminds us: relationship requires engagement with others. Texting or twittering during church services or meetings raises serious issues of attentiveness. The immediacy of virtual interaction exacerbates impulsivity and discourages more measured and thoughtful communication. Bonhoeffer’s insistence upon the value of a community life paced by monastic tradition speaks to this concern. It is difficult to advance the “encounter [with] one another as bringers of the message of salvation” when we are engaged in constant expression of self."

So there.

My day.

8 comments:

Quotidian Grace said...

~stands and applauds~

I'm so glad you can make an excellent academic/theological case for our side!

We're going to get bounced to the First Luddite Presbyterian Church if we're not careful, though....

Love ya back.

Mompriest said...

As an entire generation is being raised up on IMing, twittering, and other technological ways of communication, I wonder what the world will look like in 25 years...and what kind of church will remain, unfold, or be created...

Kathryn J said...

I don't know where it will take us but it is already distorting my social life. I went out to lunch with a group of friends on the first day of school. There were probably 12 people and I realized that other than the two who are on Facebook, I really didn't have much of an idea what anybody had done over the summer.

It is also odd to see people IRL that I am only vaguely acquainted with IRL but find that we know an awful lot about each other through FB and Twitter status updates. Then there are the lurkers, who never comment or otherwise indicate that they are out there, who nonetheless come up to me when we meet to comment about something I've posted.

It's all very bizarre and I think I might need to clean out my cache of friends on these media. However, you are counted among the treasured friends that I have met online. Without these social media apps and subsequent connections, there are many people that I would never have encountered at all and among those there are a few that I have had the honor to meet in person.

Hmm - twitter in church. I just can't wrap my mind around it but then, I'm old.

Kathryn J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gannet Girl said...

I fixed that awful second sentence but I'm too lazy to do it here.

Is twitter etc the natural consequence of Sesame Street, which always made me feel like a person would have to be ADD to enjoy it?

Michelle said...

I love the image from Bonhoeffer - a life paced by monastic tradition. Where is it from?

I'm all for a tweet-less congregation! Sign me up for the Reformed Luddite Tradition

Gannet Girl said...

Michelle, the Boheoffer is from his book Life Together, which now I think I'll post on. Later today maybe.

Stratoz said...

It is late and I can't sleep so I checked on the Phillies then came here. What I can say is this... I am imagining a spring break trip to meet two people who are dear to me.

When I leave my house there is no way to contact me. If I even have my cell phone, I don't have it turned on and I do not own a lap top. and I will fight for my right to be able to move about in this world free from being contacted by anyone who is not within shouting distance.

I use facebook only for people who I consider friends. I use Twitter to advertise our business and discover jazz. I blog apparently to make and maintain a small group of friends who I am slowly meeting IRL.

so I guess I better get to your town soon.